|Our Lady of Piat|
The feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is celebrated every third Sunday of September in Naga City. Bicolanos and pilgrims from different parts of the country flock to Naga City to pay honor to The Virgin of Peñafrancia, the miraculous patroness of the Bicol Region. The festival is a one-week affair which starts with the transfer of the image of “Ina” from her shrine to the centuries old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral where a nine-day novena and prayers are held in her honor. On the last day, the image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. The colorful fluvial procession is lit by thousands of candles from devotees in boats escorting the image. When the flatboat reaches its destination, the devotees shout “Viva la Virgen” and the image is carried back in procession to the cathedral.
According to the locals, the feast began from a Spanish government official from Peñafrancia, Spain, settled with his family in Cavite in 1712. One day, his son, a seminarian studying in Universidad de Santo Tomas got very ill. The family prayed for his recovery to the famous Madonna of Peñafrancia. When the son recovered, the family vowed to build a chapel in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Manila. However, since the son who was eventually ordained priest in Nueva Caceres (now known as Naga City) did two things: he mobilized the natives along the slopes of Mt. Isarog to construct a chapel made of local materials and ordered a local artisan to carve an image patterned after the picture of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. The devotees grew in number as the devotion spread fast far and wide as news of miracles reported because of the intercession of Our Lady.
A procession, locally called traslacion (transferring of the image to Naga Metropolitan Cathedral) ushers in the weeklong festivities which include civic and military parades, sports competitions, agro-industrial fairs, boat race, cultural shows and the coronation of Miss Bicolandia.